President Jacob Zuma’s son is planning on opening a hotel in Victoria Falls, according to a state-controlled newspaper from the southern city of Bulawayo. Despite Zimbabwe’s growing economic crisis and recession, he still thinks it is wise to open a business there.
According to the Chronicle daily, President Zuma said that South Africa and Zimbabwe will always be there for each other “even when things are not looking well”.
“We are looking at a possible joint venture to construct a hotel in Victoria Falls with Solomon” Matsa, the owner of the newly-opened Golden Mile Hotel in Kwekwe, Zuma was quoted as saying. His sister Gugulethu is married to Zimbabwe opposition politician Welshman Ncube’s son Wesley.
The businessman described Zimbabwe as a “safe and attractive destination for investment” – which is certainly how President Robert Mugabe’s cash-strapped government wants it to be known.
Victoria Falls is Zimbabwe’s top tourist resort, perched on the edge of one of the Seven Wonders of the World (and the border with Zambia). It has several plush hotels: the Victoria Falls Hotel, Elephant Hills Hotel – which is where Mugabe held his party conference last year – and the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, to name just some.
Tourism in Zimbabwe was badly hit by the 2000-8 economic crisis. Although tourists continue to visit the Zimbabwe side of the Falls, many reportedly make only day-trips, preferring to sleep in Zambia or back in South Africa.
President Zuma was reported as saying investment in Zimbabwe “will create employment.”